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Side Tracks with Rusty Pate

Aug 15, 2018

If I never get to do another podcast episode, this is the one I would want to go out on.

Neal Casal has always had a restless musical spirit. He has released a string of acclaimed solo albums. He played with Ryan Adams & the Cardinals for a stretch. He was a founding member of Hard Working Americans. Since 2011, he has traveled the world with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.

On Aug. 17, 2018 yet another of his bands, Circles Around the Sun, will release their sophomore effort “Let it Wander” via Rhino Entertainment.  

A side note, I was nervous for this one. I practiced the pronunciation of his name for two straight days and still screwed it up once the recording light had gone red.

We talked about the origin story of CATS, the process behind the new album and how the legendary Chuck D of Public Enemy got involved. We also hear the track “One for Chuck.”

Normally, my guest and I will deep dive on an album that deserves more attention or love in the second half of the show. Casal chose the 1968 self-titled debut from California band Spirit. Admittedly, we didn’t really spend enough time on this delightfully weird and complex offering. The story of guitarist Randy California would make for a great documentary. He played in Jimmy James and the Blue Flames with Jimi Hendrix. Spirit’s original drummer, Ed Cassidy, was also Randy’s stepfather. He had played with Thelonious Monk, Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal. Suffice to say, it was a topic that deserved more discussion. However, we did talk about the mythology of California and what it’s like to make music there. Also, Casal gives an update on the progress of the new CRB album.

As always, thank you to Frontier Folk Nebraska for use of their track “Cut You Loose” as our theme music.

Circles Around the Sun

Frontier Folk Nebraska